Many people warn against getting matching tattoos with a partner. Well-meaning friends, family, and even tattoo artists ask: What if you’re not together forever? How will you feel about the tattoo if you two split up? And those are fair questions that everyone should probably consider before committing to permanently altering their body in the name of love. Still, we’d be lying if we didn’t admit that we also think couple tattoos are really sweet. Love is a beautiful thing, and it’s natural to want to show and celebrate the love you share with someone. So today we’re ignoring all those well-meaning warnings and sharing some of our favorite couple tattoo designs.
1. These typographic heart tattoos
What’s more classic than a set of heart tattoos for two people in love? This couple seems to agree, so they opted for subtle tattoos of the OG heart emoticon (which makes us think their relationship might predate emojis). Thanks to the use of bold lines, these hand poked pieces—done by Steph Mehlhaff, resident artist at Home Bodies Tattoo in Seattle—stand out despite their small size.
2. For the foodie couple
Studies show that Americans spend roughly an hour and 40 minutes to two hours preparing and eating food each day. While that might not sound like a ton of time, over the days, weeks and years it really adds up. And for many couples, a lot of that eating and cooking time is spent together. So for those who bond over their love of food, a little matching meal tattoo—like these bowls of noodles by Indonesian tattooist Christine So—are a cute way to represent their relationship.
3. This freehand foliage
Done by single needle tattoo artist Nicole Kaye, these fine line botanical tattoos were designed for a couple who chose to get inked in celebration of their 20 year wedding anniversary. The intricate wrap-around pieces were freehanded by Kaye (which means she drew the designs directly onto the skin without using stencils) and are meant to intertwine when the couple hold hands. So sweet!
4. These symbolic soulmates
These matching tattoos by Russian artist Jio Maia are complex, much like the story that inspired them. The blackwork design is based on the Myth of Aristophanes (written by Greek philosopher Plato), which describes the origin of soulmates. According to the myth, humans used to be fused together at the spine. They were born soulmates, sharing one body so they could be together forever. But an angry god cut the lovers’ shared body in half and separated them, forcing us to now search for our soulmates instead of being matched automatically.
5. This colorful Calcifer
Common interests enable us to develop deeper connections with our loved ones. For this couple, that shared interest is anime—or at least a love of the 2004 film Howl’s Moving Castle, where this cartoony fire demon known as Calcifer comes from. Done by Dallas-based tattooer Alyssa Juarez, the colorful, illustrative design is actually an addition to this couple’s growing (and matching) leg sleeve.
6. These complementary cuties
If you’re in the market for a set of couple tattoos but don’t necessarily want pieces that match, instead, you could go this route and get two distinct designs that complement each other. This colorful fine line design was done by South Korean tattoo artist Mizi and seems to represent growth—perhaps since the best relationships involve supporting each other and helping one another thrive.
7. These adorable avocados
While we don’t necessarily buy into the idea of two people ‘completing’ each other (you’re a complete person regardless of whether you’re single or in a relationship), we do love the sweet symbolism behind these teeny couple tattoos. Created by Poland-based artist Syzmon Radzik, the partners each got one half of an avocado tattooed on their forearm. When you put the designs together the fatty fruit becomes whole—the same way this couple feels when they’re with each other.
8. These powerful, prideful words
Made by Miguel Garcia, a Mexican tattoo artist based in Guadalajara, this tattoo is definitely worth wearing with pride. The text piece may seem simple, but it carries an important message: this couple cares for and supports each other “no matter what” and “no matter where.” That’s true love.
9. This Disney-inspired design
This text tattoo has a very similar message to the last piece, but a very different design. Done by New York’s Mr. K—a tattooer who specializes in micro-realism and fine line, single needle designs—this Disney-inspired piece graces the wrists of celebrity couple Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner. It’s a quote from Toy Story that serves as a reminder of the depths and longevity of the couple’s love, which they believe will last “to infinity and beyond.”
10. For the creative couple
Done by Italian tattooer Mattia (AKA Mambo) this set of couple tattoos is stunning in his signature ‘destrutturato’ or deconstructed style. The artist often uses bright color blocking and bold, minimal lines in his designs, but here he also included some watercolor-esque color blending to illustrate the rainbow of paint flowing between both partners’ thighs.
11. These minimal mountains
If you’re looking for something simple, these geometric couple tattoos by LA-based artist Dani Rachmann could be great inspo. Separately, you’d never know these matching linework pieces represent a relationship, but there’s meaning behind the seemingly simple design: this couple is a big fan of the outdoors—particularly the mountains.
12. This cat and dog cuteness
This one is for all the animal lovers out there. The minimal design with impressively clean linework and dotwork detailing shows a dog and cat locked in a tight embrace. It’s a super sweet depiction of love by Polilla, resident tattooist and co-owner at Estudio el Bosque in Chile.
13. For literal lovers
This couple went literal with their tattoos. They’re soulmates and these text pieces—done by Tan, a South Korean hand poke tattooer—spell it out loud and clear in multi-colored lettering. But what we really love about this set of tattoos is the way they come together to complete the word “soulmates.” They’re very reminiscent of those old school “best friends” necklaces that so many of us shared with our BFFs when we were younger.